Photos by Anthony Giudice/QNS
Syrena's Bread Box and Espresso Bar is bridging the gap between old and new in Middle Village.

A new bakery and espresso shop on Metropolitan Avenue is bringing customers in Middle Village a little taste of the past and the future by creating new, delicious foods that they can’t get anywhere else in the neighborhood.

Syrena’s Bread Box and Espresso Bar opened up just about a month ago at 74-09 Metropolitan Ave.  where Dolci Bake Shop and Kopps Bakery used to be  and owner Matt Lukasik wanted to keep that tradition going with Syrena’s.

“This has been a bakery since the 1920s, I believe, so I don’t think it would be a good idea to even change the whole entire theme of this storefront,” Lukasik said. “So we decided to keep it a bakery, and add a few extra touches to it that the community, I believe, needed.”

Some of those new things that Lukasik has brought to Syrena’s include a juice bar with juices made from fresh-pressed fruits and vegetables; Polish waffles; fresh espressos; handmade bagels and breads; and Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.

The food they bake at Syrena’s isn’t the only changes Lukasik has brought to Middle Village.

Lukasik and his father completely renovated the entire store, from when they purchased the building back in April. They changed almost everything about the store, inside and out, including the building’s facade.

“We were renovating for five months,” Lukasik said, “We did everything from A to Z. We redid the plumbing, the electrical work, we did the floors; everything. The place before us didn’t have an espresso machine so we added an espresso machine. We renovated the bathroom. I feel like we expanded the business by about 20 percent here. And also, seating: I started with three tables, now I am up to six or seven.”

Another addition that Syrena’s is bringing to the neighborhood is a pair of televisions right in the cafe, which play American news as well as Polish news to cater to Middle Village’s Polish community.

Although major changes have been made to the inside and outside of the store, there is one place that Lukasik has kept exactly the same: the back area with all the old machinery.

“Once you go through those brown doors, you go back in history,” Lukasik said. “Everything there has been there since the 1950s or ’60s.”

Some of the things that have remained at Syrena’s from the old days are the original hardwood floors and tin ceiling, as well as the solid wood table and oven.

Lukasik felt by keeping the vintage machinery, it would bridge the gap between the old bakeries that have a deep connection to the community and breathe new life into his business.

Syrena’s Bread Box and Espresso Bar is located at 74-09 Metropolitan Ave. and is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


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